Ruling the roost when it comes to Vietnamese and vegetarian cuisine down Sydney’s Oxford Street is Saigon Queen, a restaurant brimming with enough authentic Southeast Asian classics to qualify her as one of Darlinghurst’s best Little Saigon lookalikes. Top picks include the house pho and the beef salad, but there’s a lot more to explore here, and all at great prices. Saigon Queen is a clean-lined, petite eatery, but it’s got all you could wish for in terms of Vietnamese eats, and a good range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including a few Asian imports.
Sydney Vietnamese restaurants can usually be judged according to their pho. At Saigon Queen, centrally located down the Darlinghurst stretch of Oxford Street, the pho is a house special, and a popular choice. Made with a generous amount of thinly sliced and very rare beef, soused in a broth that gets Southeast Asian soup aficionados nodding appreciatively, it’s something of a default, and great value, too. Indeed, Saigon Queen is a brilliantly affordable place to get your fix of authentic Vietnamese food.
The crispy pork spring rolls are another hit here, as is the Vietnamese warm beef salad, with fresh herbs and vegetables and topped with a spicy dressing. This Darlinghurst Vietnamese restaurant makes a point of offering a lot of vegetarian options, with tofu pho and a tofu variant of their warm beef salad tempting the non-carnivores. Back to the beef, or rather the chicken, the Saigon Queen’s Oxford Street kitchen has recently started dishing up generous buckets of Asian-style fried chicken, cooked three ways. Don’t forget the unusually good selection of drinks, either, with imported beers from Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore (plus Mexico for good measure) topping the list.
It was a bit empty on a Friday night, but portions were generous and service was prompt. The Vietnamese pancake was bursting with ingredients, and the salads were refreshing. Good place if you dislike crowds